The dining and food revolution is merely just beginning in the Kingdom, and the industry gives businesses the opportunity to present their creative options.

Mohammed Al Moalem

CEO, Al Romansiah Co.

We started with one outlet, and our focus was on making our quality standards the highest and having quality as our main differentiator. We looked at the supply chain from the start and developed our operations, system, and cooking chain from scratch with the help of consultants. We transitioned away from traditional systems to a modern and systematic way. In the beginning, we did not expand quickly because we wanted to focus on the operations and systems, the methods of cooking, and our menu. We are true pioneers of cooking traditional food via modern methods. We built up our technique through trial and error, seeking to cook traditional food in a modern and systematic way. We apply the LEAN system for our operations, which helps cut down on preparation time and food waste. Furthermore, we have received ISO 9001 and ISO 22000 certifications and, in 2018, we will also apply for ISO 19000. As a result of applying these systems, especially the LEAN system, we can prepare orders quicker than before and have the entire chain supply set up to improve our overall operations. It was a great step in this field and we are the first to implement such a system.


Bader E. Al Sadoun

CEO, Dar Juwanah Restaurant Company

We try to lead the market with a Saudi brand that we are franchising. Preferably, we would like to not own a single store but instead support the brand with stores all around the world. In 2008, we started with Steaky, a boutique steakhouse with a limited menu of high-quality food. We focus on casual dining where we provide excellent steaks at reasonable prices. In 2011, we decided to spin off with Burgy. The first store was a franchise. Following our global research, we realized that the concept of franchising and investing in the brand, without being concerned with owning the stores, could be successful. For Burgy, we put all our efforts into the recipe, history, and branding of the burgers. We started with packaging, uniforms, operational and franchise manuals, and everything related to the concept itself. Today, we have 23 stores in six cities in Saudi Arabia: Riyadh, Al Qassim, Al Kharj, Tabuk, Hail, Al Hassa, and Al Khafji. Furthermore, we opened a joint venture in Casablanca and two stores in Cairo. With Steaky, we opened a restaurant in Dubai on Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard. We have many European customers who are surprised that it is a Saudi brand. They like the way we present our food.


Andy Holmes

Vice President, Starbucks MENA

Since our entry into the market in 2000, Starbucks has grown rapidly and has become the market leader in coffee. We have introduced a new culture of coffee to Saudi youths. Today, we have over 140 stores in locations across the country, of which 50 are located in shopping malls, 63 are spread across the city's prime locations, 10 are exclusive drive-through outlets, five are set within hospitals, eight are in the most popular travel destinations, and four are located in well-known educational institutions. Our growth is accelerating, powered by the strong support of Alshaya International Trading and the demand from young Saudis for great coffee in a welcoming environment. For more than 40 years, Starbucks has built its business with a social conscience and proven that doing what is right makes great business sense. Fundamentally, our brand and social impact agenda are inseparable. We were one of the first major companies to introduce Café Practices, which ensures that Starbucks sources sustainably grown and processed coffee by evaluating the economic, social, and environmental impact of coffee production. We have extended this approach into our neighborhoods, stores, and partner relationships, sharing a responsibility to give back to the communities we work with.


Steve Skoien

CEO, ALFA CO

When Western concepts started to enter the Saudi market, we saw an opportunity to create our own concept, without depending on the rules of an international chain. We wanted to operate under Western standards, with clean restaurants, a nice environment, genuine friendly service, excellent food, and quality ingredients, but with our own choices and warehouse distribution services. Casual dining was the goal initially, and there has been significant growth in that area, because families like to go out in groups and relax in such an environment. Steak House was our household name in the first years, and by 2010 we had a dozen Steak House restaurants in all major cities. Together with Piatto, we are positioned in the casual- to upper-casual dining segment. Along the way, we have also expanded in the fast/casual segment, which is a global trend in between casual dining and fast food—priced roughly 30% below casual dining and 20-25% above fast food. This trend has exposed the need for more easily accessible quality food. In this segment, we have developed Fire Grill, Piatto Express, and City Fresh Kitchen. With a young population and millennials encompassing the majority, this will be a significant market in Saudi Arabia.


Ali Mohammed Saadeddin

CEO, Saadeddin Pastry

Saadeddin is a pastry shop for high-quality Arab pastries, from high-quality raw materials, at a reasonable price. Aside from pastries, we produce cakes, sandwiches, and chocolates, all manufactured in house by experts. Saadeddin has been in the market since 1976, and has about 135 regular outlets and 18 kiosks (Saadeddin Express) in malls. We also focus on special occasions, like the two Eids, Ramadan, Mother's Day, National Day, and help people celebrate these special days. The company is present in the majority of Saudi cities and 90% of villages, and we have home delivery in these areas. Our production facilities are in Al Kharj area, where we produce cakes and chocolate for Saadeddin and other companies. Our pastries also go to other companies, like hypermarkets, restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, and certain fast food chains. Furthermore, we operate a cheese factory together with our partners where we produce Turkish and Syrian-style cheeses, which we also use in our pastries and distribute in the market. Other white cheeses, like fresh mozzarella and halloumi, are also part of our menu. For cheese, we have a few retail shops, though we focus more on B2B.


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